Belfast Telegraph

England v Wales: Hodgson prepared to change tactics again

By Rory Dollard

England manager Roy Hodgson has not ruled out another tactical switch after Saturday's 1-1 draw against Russia.

Eric Dier's clinical 73rd-minute free-kick looked to have given England their first ever victory in the opening match of a European Championship, only for Vasili Berezutsky to head home an injury-time equaliser.

That was probably harsh on Hodgson's side, who dictated terms in the first half in Marseille and appeared largely in control of the situation after Dier struck. Victory would have vindicated the manager's decision to revert to 4-3-3, recalling Adam Lallana and Raheem Sterling and deploying Wayne Rooney in midfield for the first time in his long international career.

Hodgson saw plenty of positives prior to Berezutsky's hammer blow at the Stade Velodrome but stressed the system and personnel were under constant review ahead of Thursday's key game against Wales.

Leicester's title-winning striker Jamie Vardy was an unused substitute in the game, and will surely occupy his manager's thoughts in the coming days.

"We think about it all the time," he said. "The team depends upon how you see individuals you are working with, and how you build a team to make best use of their qualities.

"We thought, going into this game, we'd been pleased with Raheem and Adam, and with Harry Kane, so we thought that would be our best attacking option. We could change it for the next games. When we analyse the game, and start preparing for the next game, there'll be a lot of things that we'll want to take forward and hopefully we'll be able to put the memory of that last minute goal behind us."

Belfast Telegraph